CDC estimates that 95% of Americans over 16 have identifiable COVID-19 antibodies
The majority of Americans have antibodies for the COVID-19 virus, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This is good news, experts say, with the highly contagious BA.2 omicron subvariant causing new infections in the U.S. and becoming the new dominant strain.
Experts say that due to the high percentage of Americans with at least some antibodies against COVID-19, the BA.2 variant is unlikely to cause a surge in COVID-19 infections like what has previously been seen.
The CDC is estimating that 95% of all Americans over the age of 16 have COVID-19 antibodies that are identifiable. The antibodies come from both vaccinations and prior COVID-19 infections.
According to the CDC, around 77% of the U.S. population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The problem, experts say, is the reprieve is only temporary, as antibodies go away over time, leaving our systems at varying speeds. In June 2021, the CDC had estimated that more than 87% of American had detectable antibodies for COVID-19.
Antibodies gained by vaccination start to go away after around four to six months, according to Dr. Timothy Brewer, a professor of medicine working in infectious diseases at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
Brewer told CNBC that, to his knowledge, there is nothing that concretely shows the duration antibodies last in persons who are infected with COVID-19.
“I am not aware of good data for the duration of antibodies from natural infection,” Brewer told CNBC.
An October 2021 study conducted by the Yale School of Public Health showed unvaccinated individuals who were infected with COVID-19 could develop immunity against reinfection for between three to 61 months.
A different study, meanwhile, determined that those infected with COVID-19 could expect to retain a natural immunity for up to eight months.